The UCL SSEES Library holds over 200 archive collections. Most of them are fairly small collections, many contain material in a Slavonic language and quite a few contain or consist solely of photographs. All of the collections come from individuals or organisations with a connection to the areas studied by the School.
One of the more popular collections is the Sir Bernard Pares Collection that includes materials on the British delegation to Russia (1909-1912) and the reciprocal Visit of Duma members to Britain (1908-1912). As a reminder of the visit Sir Bernard Pares received from the Duma a set of silver goblets with the surnames of the delegates engraved on them. This collection is displayed at the entrance to the School.
Access to the majority of archive collections is unrestricted and they can be consulted in the Library without special permission, although we prefer users to make an appointment in advance. A number of collections are accessible only after a formal application and the acceptance of special conditions.
To arrange an archives appointment, contact email@example.com. Please provide brief details of your research and specify exactly which archive materials you wish to consult.
The Library has a collection of Rare books. One of our more valuable books is Ulozhenie Tsara Aleksiea Mikhaiklovicha published in 1649. The Rare Books can be found in Explore. Rare books are kept in our local store and can be identified by the following classmark: SSEES Library Rare Books Room followed by string of letters and number. An example can be: SSEES Library Rare Books Room KfR1.
Part of the collection, comprising of around 300 volumes of printed accounts of travels in Central and Eastern Europe as well as Russia dating from 1557 through 1860, has been digitised as part of the EuropeanaTravel project and is available online. Over 200 maps were also digitised, the oldest dating back to the 1540s. Digitised maps are also available online.
UCL Special Collections is one of the foremost university collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books in the UK. Our holdings span the 4th century to the present day and cover a vaste range of subject areas and disciplines. The strengths of the collections include language, literature and poetry from the 15th to the 21st centuries, 20th and 21st century small-press publishing, politics and social policy, History of Science, Mathematics, Latin American history and economics, Hebraica and Judaica, Education, the history of London and the history of UCL.
Anyone with a need to consult our collections is welcome to do so. UCL Special Collections is reference only. It is essential to book in advance to make sure of a reading room place and that the items requested are available. Please contact us at least two weeks before you intend to visit. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate drop-in visits.
Search the catalogues for collections held across: